I reach the bottom, exhausted. In the blackness my eyes close for a few seconds. I feel a large soft hand brushing against me!
Quickly I strike a match! The Morlock runs back into its tunnel. I try to call, using the few Eloi words I know, but they must speak a totally different language. I had hoped to perhaps get further before being spotted. But clearly the morlocks are everywhere down here. And I realise how badly prepared I am as a time traveller, When I built the time machine I just assumed that mankind would be highly advanced in the future. How wrong I was! future Yet to them I'm just an animal, so they're not in any hurry to stop me. They're probably just watching in the darkness, to see what I do.
I have just five matches left. I'll need at least three matches to climb the ladder safely. But what if the time machine is just down the next tunnel? Should I look a little further? Or should I turn back right now? Or do something else?